Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Peeping Tom

I’m a magazine page tearer-outer.  When I see an idea I like, or something that inspires me, I tear that sucker out and toss the magazine.  (Please see my first post’s aversion to countertop clutter).  Before moving into our house, I saw an ad for Sherwin Williams, and LOVED the color of the walls.  I kept the ad for quite awhile after moving in, just waiting for the room worthy of this magical color.

What wasn’t so magic?  The name.  I often find a personal connection with paint names, which is why my living room is painted in “Mexican Sand”- coincidentally the same color as my sister’s living room, painted within weeks of each other, and with no communication between the two of us.  The color really beefs up our miniscule percentage of Mexican heritage, you know?

This ad color that I loved, which looked like a rich terracotta, was named Brandywine.  BRANDYWINE.  What the…??  The name still irks me, six years later.  Despite the name, I decided that this would be the color of my dining room, as places where you prepare and eat food should be painted in warm tones.  Thanks HGTV, for furthering the obesity of America by telling us that in order to fill our bellies even more, all we need is a warm tone to our wall colors. 

I carried the paint chip in my purse for weeks, looking for curtains or fabric that would “go” with the paint.  I would have settled on buying ready-made curtains, but nothing really felt right.  I finally ended up finding a great striped Christopher Lowell fabric at the Super! JoAnn’s, and geared up for my first foray into curtain making. If you’re a first time curtain maker, I really suggest buying a fabric with a clear linear pattern.  They are so much easier to cut and sew straight lines into!! 

Christopher Lowell fabric

At the time, there was a warehouse fabric outlet about 15 minutes from my house, and I went there to buy white fabric to line the curtains with.  All of their fabrics were three dollars a yard, and they all came in 60” widths.  Please make sure you get lining fabric if you’re considering making curtains for your house.  From the outside, your windows should look uniform (at least floor by floor)- no baby blue curtains in the living room window and purple and red flowered drapes peeking out from the office windows.  It just doesn’t GO.

Double rod...thought I might hang shears behind the curtains...nope. 

For my curtains, I decided to make them floor length, as I do not have high ceilings.  The higher on the wall you hang your curtains, and the closer to the floor they go will give the illusion of higher ceilings.  In a small house, it almost doesn’t make sense NOT to fill your house with floor to ceiling curtains.  Plus, they just look prettier!  Because I like to make things difficult for myself, I also decided that these curtains should be hung by grommets.  Yep.  Why wouldn’t I take the chance that beautifully lined curtains might be completely ruined once I cut through them to force small plastic circles to snap through the 1,000 layers of thick upholstery fabric?  I’m still not sure how the curtains survived without severe bloodshed.

Grommets. Of course NOW JoAnn's has them in every color under the sun after I'm forced to buy black ones.

I’m not going to take you through the step by step process of making these curtains, as I don’t have pictures to accompany it.  I’ll save that for a later post with curtains I actually DID take pictures of.  If you decide to make curtains yourself, though, I really suggest buying upholstery fabric that comes on 60” rolls, instead of your normal fabric that comes in 45” widths.  For a regular window, you can zip the fabric in half lengthwise, and still end up with two long panels that actually close and aren’t just pretty drapes for show. 

I still absolutely love these curtains, and when the time comes for us to move from our lovely little bungalow, I will be SO SAD to part with them.  I WILL be making stipulations in the sale agreement that if the new owners don’t want my curtains or any other fun DIY things that are bolted to the walls, that I will be taking them with me.  It gives me heart palpitations to think of someone tossing my hard work in the Salvation Army donation pile.  And now you know what keeps me up at night- visions of non-existent new homeowners tossing my masterpieces to the side.  First world problems….sigh. 
Say hello to the neighbors!!

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